Shanghai-based Yuou Information Technology, operator of mobile umbrella-sharing platform Yaojiesan, recently announced that it has won RMB 8 mln in angel funding to support team expansion, product development, and market expansion.
Yaojiesan provides access to umbrellas through its own smart umbrella self-service stations and allows users to pay via Tencent's (0700.HK) WeChat mobile messaging app. Users must make an RMB 39 deposit, which can be done by having the umbrella stations scan a user's code, and the station will then dispense an umbrella. Usage fees are then calculated at the rate of RMB 1 per day. When the user returns the umbrella, their deposit amount will be returned to them, minus their accumulated usage fees.
Yan Fei, founder of Yaojiesan, said that the company plans to set up approximately 10,000 umbrella stations throughout Shanghai and will eventually expand to other cities. Umbrella stations will be placed at locations such as train stations, business districts, school campuses, and hospitals, and each station will hold up to 100 umbrellas.
The Yaojiesan development team plans to begin pilot deployments of small numbers of umbrellas in Shanghai later this month, and will expand throughout Shanghai in November.
Yuou, established in November 2016, completed RMB 7-digit seed funding from a private investor in December 2016.